Series by Ben Stiller: ‘Severance’ exposes the unreasonable demands of our world of work | movie | BR . culture stage

What about that? Instead of balancing work and life that is hard to plan – only two lives. One for each purpose: a working life and a private life. For some of the fictional Lumen employees, this is the reality. They approved Operation Severance, a brain surgery that allows for strict cleavage. Mark (Adam Scott) decides to have the surgery so he doesn’t have to think about his late wife all the time. expresses his sadness. Because his business – called Eni – has no memories of his life outside the office. On the other hand, his spare time – known as outtie – knows nothing of his work. His memories are local. He’s working. Until his team gets a new addition: Hailey (Brett Laure). Who wouldn’t want to stay in this section for a second.

Cracks in carefully separated worlds

Brett Laure in the Ben Stiller series

Disrupts completely separate worlds: Brett Laure as Hailey in ‘Severance’

She does not want to accept what everyone is accustomed to: that she has known nothing since Severance – what hobbies she has, what color her mother’s eyes are, which are supposed to function for which it is not clear to her – Hailey constantly asks about the status quo. Britt Laure says of her role: Hailey has an inner sense that something is wrong. For me it represents the id versus the ego. She is innate, attentive, sincerely honest, not afraid of confrontation.”

Hailey also raises suspicions about Ani to Mark. Mark’s personality also became suspicious – only two characters who could not share their experiences.

Office world with surreal features

The office world in “Severance” feels like a flawed version of our everyday life – but it’s not quite our reality. Like the Sex Education series, Severance keeps time for its characters: they use cell phones in their spare time, but their desk screens are old and outdated. “Severance” can be read ironically on several levels – full of upsurges against other series playing in offices (“The Office” https://www.br.de/ “Stromberg”) or against real life work. The office characters remind us of the kinds of fellows we know – with strong irony exaggeration. Dry humor is often funny in front of the screen, but there is hardly any laughter in the series. In the office you think you can hear the wind noise, the environment is cool, and the snack machine feels more like an art installation than an invitation to take a break.

SEVERANCE German German Trailer (2022) Apple TV + |  Photo: Filmtoast (via YouTube)

SEVERANCE German German Trailer (2022) Apple TV +

Actor Zach Cherry also found the shot to be very surreal: “The ceiling was very low, the lighting was eerie, the carpet was a charming green—the room our characters work in is incredibly large yet there are only four small offices in it which all helped to feel like” What’s going on here?” Executes.

The Office series becomes a mysterious thriller

Each surprise, no matter how vague, fits smoothly, director Ben Stiller has drawn the seemingly endless desktop universe that is almost human-hating in a roundabout way. This whimsical atmosphere creates suspense from the beginning of the series – even before the actual plot begins. Even working characters allow themselves to understand that they are managing the unwanted part of life. They never sit in the sun, never wear gowns, and never see their families. With the onset of the Rebellion, the series became a mystery thriller in which series creator Dan Erickson plays through the treacherous possibilities of such a dichotomy. He seems to be whispering to us: Understand your life holistically – see where this can lead!

To what extent does the series score not only with artistic surreal aesthetics but also with a coherent story? Season two should show that. Like more and more series, “Severance” also resists the old logic, according to which the story is completed in the first season and then – if the audience likes it – new stories are added across other seasons. “Severance” is only taking a break. And remains guilty of a decision. There are series that you want to go back to because you want to live in this world. This is definitely not the case here. But there is also a chain in which you want to walk as if you were in a museum. And “Severance” is one of the most impressive exhibits currently on display.

“Severance” is available from February 18. Available on Apple TV +.

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